View Full Version : creating landscape from contour lines

02-13-2004, 06:44 PM

I'm attempting to create a site model for a residence. I've sketched over a backdrop image containing the contour lines and am now at a what next stage. Selecting points and making polygons seems tedious and wrong, so I'm sure there is a better way, any help is greatly appreciated.


John Fornasar
02-13-2004, 09:03 PM
If you bring your contour map into a paint program, divide the distance in feet (or meters) by 256, and assign gray scale colors to fill in each contour ring.

Create a heavily segmented mesh in Modeler (following the shape of your property) and triple it. The more segments you add, the smoother your landform will be.

Bring the mesh into Layout, and click the Displacement Map "T" (Item Properties/Object Properties/Deform tab).
Assign your Contour.bmp to the mesh on the "Y" axis and hit Automatic Sizing. You will have your ground form.

You can then do a "Save Transformed Object" to freeze the mesh. Remove the Displacement Map, and you can bring the mesh back into Modeler (if needed) to fine tune it.

assuming your property is fairly "smooth", you'll want to blur the contour bitmap several times to blend your grayscales.

02-13-2004, 10:30 PM

Depending on who and how the contour map was created, you might be able to ask for a DXF file of the triangulated digital terrain model (or TIN or TTN) model that was used to create the contours.


02-15-2004, 05:55 AM
That is one of the most useful tips I ever read! And so simple.



02-15-2004, 08:20 AM
Thanks for your help, it's starting to look like something. Also, this method is a convenient way to circumvent the scale issue which is often a problem.